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The new Nexus 7 is the best 7-inch tablet that money can buy

Florence Ion | July 30, 2013
A $30 price hike buys you a faster performance, better sound, wireless charging, and an impressive 1080p display, all in a slimmer package.

First with Android 4.3
The Nexus 7 is the first device in the Google Nexus family to use Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, an incremental software update with features like support for OpenGL ES 3.0, Bluetooth 4.0 LE support, and the ability to restrict certain user accounts. That last capability might come in handy if you plan to buy this tablet for yourself and your family. There aren't many tablet-optimized applications available for Android yet, but Google is changing the way it showcases those particular apps, to make them easier to find.

Beyond that, you'll still have access to the Google applications that come with every stock Android device, including Gmail, Hangouts, and Google Maps. You'll also have access to Google's new stock camera application, which debuted in the Google Play editions of the Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One last month. Because it's a Nexus device, this Nexus 7 will receive the most timely Android software updates, so you won't have to worry about software fragmentation or getting left behind with an older version of Android.

Bottom line
I can't help but feel a little trepidation. The previous-generation Nexus 7 had quite a few issues to contend with after its update to Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean. If I let the battery die, the tablet wouldn't turn on without a hard reset, and the tablet became buggier and slower to use over time. I hope this new Nexus 7 won't suffer from those foibles—because if history repeats itself, Google will have to do much more next time around to rid us of our bad memories.

The second-generation Nexus 7 offers strong features at an affordable price. If you're a seasoned tablet user, whether you should buy this tablet will depend primarily on whether you are tied to Google's ecosystem. Still, this particular device can hold its own against any other 7-inch tablet currently available. At the moment, it has some of the best specs, a bright screen, and a few other little goodies—and it's hardly a splurge. If you're in the market for a 7-inch Android device, this is the one to get.

 

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